Chiara Bottici (New School) was one of the opening speakers at the Night of Philosophy held at the French Embassy in New York City on April 24th, 2015. She chose a controversial figure to focus on—Machiavelli, whose “very status as a philosopher is contested”—in order to get at the question of what does and what does not count as philosophy.
Towards the end o..
I decided to start What Is It Like To Be A Philosopher? because one of the things I like most about conferences, and hanging out with philosophers generally, is learning about the people who do philosophy. How we are similar. How we are diff..
By now you’ve all seen the new Star Wars trailer, so, philosofriends…
“I find your bad faith disturbing” — Sartre Vader
Perhaps you saw this logic problem, purported to have been given to fifth graders in Singapore, flying around social media yesterday:
That’s right: a logic problem has gone viral.
It turns out that the problem was from a math olympiad test for high-school students, but perhaps the “are you smarter than a fifth grader from Singapore” framing helped propel t..
Many philosophy conferences charge fees, with one rate for faculty and a lower rate for students. A philosopher who is an adjunct at a state university, and who at this time would prefer to remain anonymous, is trying to get conferences to recognize a third category for adjuncts, visiting lecturers, postdocs, and the like, i.e., those who would like to participate i..
The American Academy of Arts & Sciences has published its Humanities Indicators report for the United States, “The State of the Humanities: Higher Education 2015.” Among its findings:
- Humanities represent a little more than 10% of all Bachelor’s degrees, slightly more than 8% of all doctoral degrees, and just under 4% of all masters degrees.
- The number of stu..
Jason Turner, currently associate professor of philosophy at St. Louis University, has accepted an offer from the University of Arizona and will join them as associate professor this coming August. Turner works in metaphysics, philosophical logic, free will, and philosophy of action.
I am a professor of philosophy at a public university. What is the value of philosophy to the taxpayers who subsidize my teaching? Philosophy is an abstruse and difficult field. Many of those whose taxes support higher education probably would have a hard time seeing the point of most philosophical debates. Why ask people to pay for discussions of seemingly arcane a..
A forthcoming special issue of the European Journal of Political Theory will take up the topic of analytic and Continental approaches in political philosophy and political theory. The introduction to the issue, “Introduction: Analytic, Continental and the question of a bridge” by Clayton Chin and Lasse Thomassen (University of London) is now online (may be gated). T..
A philosopher writes in with a query about paying philosophers for talks and the like…
I’d like to learn more about honorarium practices for philosophy talks. How common is it to offer an honorarium? Under what circumstances (e.g. departmental colloquium, conference, public lecture, etc.)? What is a typical amount? It would be especially helpful if respondents ..
On April 12th, 2015, Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man, allegedly ran away from a Baltimore police officer on a bicycle who had made eye contact with him. He was caught, arrested for possession of a switchblade, and dragged into a police van. At some point between his arrest and his delivery at a trauma center 40 minutes later, Gray sustained severe injuries th..
You may recall that this past December, Kathleen Wallace (Hofstra) brought to our attention that the U.S. Census Bureau was considering eliminating from its main survey the question asking for respondents’ field of undergraduate study. In light of many comments sent to the Bureau about this proposal, it has been rejected; the question will be retained. From the Fede..
The Miami New Times has a long and detailed account of the events leading up to Colin McGinn’s resignation from the University of Miami. It is based on hundreds of messages reviewed by the Times, “many of which have never been publicized,” a first person account from the student McGinn allegedly harassed, and conversations with McGinn.
UPDATE (4/30/15): Universit..
Peter Singer (Princeton) did an “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit today to tout his new book, The Most Good You Can Do. He says he may come back tomorrow to answer some more questions. In the meanwhile, here are some excerpts:
Q: If you weren’t doing what you do now, what do you think you’d be doing?
A: I suppose I might be a political activist of some kind. B..
Philosophers are sometimes thought of as expert thinkers, more rational and less prone to errors in reasoning than others. Whether this is true, though, is an empirical question, and it is one that several researchers have taken up over the past decade or so. Their findings regularly show that philosophers, like the ordinary folk, are susceptible to various cognitiv..
Bert Baumgaertner, assistant professor of philosophy at the University of Idaho, is one of the co-principal investigators on a nearly $10.6 million grant won from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant is to support the university’s new Center for Modeling Complex Interactions. According to a press release from UI, “the center will focus its efforts on u..
Hiring the Humanities is a new website that aims to assist those currently working in the humanities find employment outside academia. It was started by James Gibson, a former philosophy PhD student, who now works as a programmer. The site has just launched, and is looking for content from people who have transitioned from academia to a non-academic careers. It aims..
Philosophy departments face many challenges. Philosophy is perceived by some as “less practical” and so less choiceworthy a course of study. Most entering students have not taken philosophy courses and do not come to college thinking about studying philosophy. Philosophy is unfamiliar, its critical element can scare away some students, and it has a reputation among ..
The philosopher Michael Theunissen died on April 18, 2015. He studied in Bonn and Freiburg and defended his much-cited habilitation thesis Der Andere: Studien zur Sozialontologie der Gegenwart (The Other: Studies in Contemporary Social Ontology) in Berlin in 1964. He was professor in Berne, then Heidelberg and Berlin, where he was colleague alongside figures such ..
Stanford University’s most popular class is called “Designing Your Life,” according to an article at Fast Company. Its aim is to get students to think more carefully about their life and career choices and learn ways to bring their lives in line with their thoughts.
Before Kanyi Maqubela became an investment partner at the Collaborative Fund, an early-stage ventu..
HowTheLightGetsIn bills itself as “the world’s largest philosophy and music festival.” With 650 events, 370 acts, and 200 speakers on 9 stages over 11 days, it probably is. It takes place in the town of Hay-on-Wye, about 160 miles or so west of London. The schedule for the festival was recently released, and includes panels and debates with philosophers such as Sim..
Jan Boxill, who recently resigned from her position as member of the philosophy faculty at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill following allegations last year that she played a major role in academic fraud involving fake classes there, is now defending herself. She was interviewed recently by The Daily Tar Heel, which reports:
Records obtained by The Da..
A junior job candidate reports that twice this season she has been invited for on-campus interviews but told that the inviting departments would not be able to pay for her travel to the campuses. At all. This is like being invited over for dinner but then told that you will have to bring all of the food and drink. It’s like being taken out for a night on the town bu..
Up to 1.5 million peer-reviewed articles are published annually. However, many are ignored even within scientific communities — 82 per cent of articles published in humanities are not even cited once. No one ever refers to 32 per cent of the peer-reviewed articles in the social and 27 per cent in the natural sciences. If a paper is cited, this does not imply it has..
In 2012, physicists Lawrence Krauss claimed that “…science progresses and philosophy doesn’t”, and Neil deGrasse Tyson infamously echoes such opinions… Lots of high profile physicists make dead wrong claims about a subject in which they are not experts, repeating misperceptions even after philosophers keep correcting them. This is like listening to creationists re..
Furman University has developed an exciting scholarship program for students interested in studying philosophy. J. Aaron Simmons, associate professor of philosophy there, kindly took some time to write up a description of it, posted below. Do any other schools have something like this?
Preemptively Changing the Narrative through a Philosophy Scholarship Progr..
Chris Eliasmith holds a Canada Research Chair in theoretical neuroscience at the University of Waterloo. He has a joint appointment in philosophy and systems design engineering. He also holds an appointment in computer science there. Over at the Ideas Can blog he discusses the challenges of interdisciplinary work. He says:
Not really a philosopher. And not really..
Alan Wertheimer, professor emeritus at the University of Vermont, has died. Professor Wertheimer worked mainly in ethics and political philosophy, both theoretical and applied, with well-known work on coercion, exploitation, and various topics in biomedical ethics. He spent most of his career at the University of Vermont, in the Department of Political Science, but ..